The 2013 SEMA Show Coverage…Part 1…

I wanted to try something different this time around… If you’ve followed this site for the last couple of years, you know that my SEMA coverage, like most of my other coverge, is typically very in-depth. I try to cover everything that I can that catches my eye and then sort through the mess after when I get home from my week-long stay in Las Vegas, NV. This has always worked for me because I like the depth of my coverages and I think that is one of the key reasons why I feel that this site is like no other. It’s not so much filling the site with content that would otherwise be considered ‘filler’ content, it just has more to do with the fact that the SEMA show has always had quite a bit of stuff to look at. Import, domestic, completely one-off, etc. The SEMA show has it all. As in-depth as my coverage normally is, I still fail to cover everything that truly is worthy of recognition. It’s just impossible to capture everything, even with the week long span of time that I am there…

This year, I decided to try to really streamline the coverage with stuff that I fill is probably the best of the best at SEMA. In the years past, I’ve also included coverage of our adventures outside of the show and at the SEMA after parties and what not. That was always fun and great to relive while I go through the photos after but I didn’t cover any of that this year. To be honest, we didn’t really get too crazy like we did in the years prior. Maybe we are just getting older or maybe it has just been the steady grind of the whole year but we definitely didn’t party all-out like we did before. The parties were also switched around a bit as the Falken party usually caps our week in Vegas but this year, their party was a day earlier and we ended up not even doing any kind of partying the Thursday of. Instead we just relaxed and had some drinks and chatted. Sounds boring but seriously, you can only do so much partying in Vegas for SEMA. It’s not like a one-night party with the homies or anything either. It all has to do with meeting people in the industry and partying day after day after day. It gets pretty monotonous. The coverage is still very much lengthy in great content but there are definitely a lot that I left out because I either felt that it was irrelevant to the site or just because they weren’t nearly as good as the stuff that I had already captured. I think it works out better this way. Who knows, maybe next year we will go back to how it was before but for 2013, you’ll see strictly car coverage that has been sorted through with care…

I started my coverage of SEMA this year doing the opposite of what everyone else typically does. Instead of going through the show as your normal industry spectator would, I started from the end of the show and worked my way backwards. I figured most people would be going the normal route so I began my coverage at the South Hall, which is the “Wheel and Tire” hall. This is the building where all the major tire manufacturers were and also where most of the popular tuner vehicles were on display. The other buildings also had their fair share of great builds but the South Hall definitely housed most of the more talked-about vehicles of the year. That includes the Liberty Walk builds and everything else that you could think of that we being hyped for the show. Since these cars were going to be so popular, they would probably draw a pretty big crowd so me hitting that building first before most had made their way over there would give me the proper time to go over these cars in detail. The South Hall is always good too because they have the most free goodies to give away. If you hit that building first you get first dibs on the good shit, if you know what I mean. Otherwise you’ll likely miss out on some good freebies because others had already gotten to them. This plan worked out great from the start and I think I’ll be using this route every year that I go from now on….

The SEMA ’13 coverage will be divided into 5 parts. In the past it went on for like 7-8 parts so this year it was trimmed down considerably. Overall, I really liked how the coverage came out and I am very happy with the photos. I had always been hesitant about bringing and using a tripod in year’s past because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make good use of it with all the people around but I’m happy that I did this year. Starting backwards really helped with using the tripod also because there weren’t as many people around to walk into my shots or get in the way. I also didn’t feel pressured to have to work quickly because of this. Hopefully you guys have been patient and waited until now to view my SEMA coverage before all else. I think you guys will enjoy the content and I’ll try my best to describe to you guys what you are seeing in detail. You’ll see content mostly from the South Hall today and towards the end, you’ll see some stuff from the Central Hall, which is considered the “Manufacturer’s Hall” where Honda and Ford and what not are situated. The content that follows in the later parts is a bit random but there is still a sense of fluidity. Anyways, enough of my rambling, now onto the photos and more rambling….

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I started out my coverage in the South Hall by heading over to the Falken Tire display area. I wanted to say what’s up to some friends and associates from Falken before the mayhem of their week started and also to grab some cool Falken shit. They always take care of me over there so it was important that I go visit them. On display for Falken Tire this year was this Porsche race car that was brought to SEMA without being cleaned and looking exactly as it does in race condition. The whole idea is that it looks like it had just burst through the concrete wall behind it and I think it was a pretty cool display. The livery on the Porsche is unlike their race cars in year’s past because they decided to partner up with Forza Motorsports this year. They held a contest together where anyone who played Forza could submit a livery idea and they would pick the winner. Being someone who had previously been pretty into the Forza series, I can definitely tell that this was something that was designed in-game…

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Also on display for Falken Tire was the debuting Rocket Bunny Version 2 BRZ that is set to compete next year in the Formula D series. The BRZ is Dai Yoshihara’s new campaign vehicle and will also receive a graphical livery designed through the Forza video game series….

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I loved that the car was essentially naked for SEMA because it gives you the opportunity to look the car over and see the little details that will be lost later when graphics are applied. Usually the graphical schemes are so busy that it makes you miss a lot of the lines of the car as well as much of the fabrication work done to it. With the car bare, you get a better sense of the work that was put into the car and not so much the final product itself…

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Here you can see the custom canards and rear quarter of the Rocket Bunny aero kit mated with Dai Yoshihara’s signature aftermarket wheel. Very cool car overall with a lot of custom fabrication. I learned at the show that Rywire was also going to be the ones to wire up the entire car as well which is really cool…

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Over in the Toyo Tires area, I got to see the Liberty Walk R35 GTR in person for the first time. I had seen photos of it on various social media outlets leading up to the event but never got to see it for myself until SEMA. A lot of people will tell you that the Ben Sopra kit still shits on this Liberty Walk kit but I don’t know if I feel the same. After seeing how the front clam shell hood opened and closed on the Ben Sopra cars, they just looked very flimsy to me. I won’t say that the Liberty Walk kit is the more refined of the two but it definitely does look to be a bit more functionally sound, I guess you can say. I mean, the Ben Sopra kit works fine and various versions of it are being race around the world but the Liberty Walk kit just looks to be less over-the-top. And that’s saying a lot considering how both have bolt on flares and what not. I don’t know, it’s a cool-looking car. If you have the money to acquire the kit and to cut up a R35, more power to you. I hear a lot of people complaining that Liberty Walk stuff is getting played-out and over-saturated but I have to admit, it still is pretty goddamn cool seeing them in person…

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Parked near the Liberty Walk GTR was this 2014 Lexus IS F-Sport with front/rear fender flares and Rays Gram Lights 57Extreme. The factory lines of the new IS are super aggressive and make for a very sexy car. The addition of the flares just makes it that much more aggressive…

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Love the style of the center caps on the 57Extreme. Never noticed them before because most of the people who own these wheels don’t spend the extra bucks to get the caps…

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Directly next to the ’14 IS was an ever-popular Rauh Welt Begriff Porsche build. Really dig the color choice on this one because most of the signature RWB builds all have very distinctive colors to them. What is also a nice touch is the high contrast color with the machine-finish of the wheels used….

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Just look at how massive that rear quarter is and how deep that wheel looks….

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Generic wheel manufacturer Konig had this Accuair-equipped widebody NA2 Acura NSX on display. This is one of those examples where a car gets into SEMA because it is with a wheel manufacturer and then after the show, they take the wheels off and never use them again, haha…

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Misha Designs Porsche 997 on Forgestar CF10 wheels…

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Laguna Seca Blue Liberty Walk E92 BMW M3 coupe that you’ve seen numerous times before here on this site….

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In the Enkei wheels booth, they had this drift-spec S13.4 hatchback on display from Enjuku Racing that features a Kouki S14 front end with TRA Kyoto front bumper and fenders…

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Nutek Forged Wheels had this well-kept R35 GTR as their display vehicle…

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One of the more talked-about builds that was set to debut at SEMA ’13 was the Liberty Walk Ferrari 458 Italia. This is a bit of a controversial build because the kit requires you to cut up a Ferrari but if you know Liberty Walk Japan, they have always been about non-conventional thought. It seemed like everyone one and their mothers was pining to shoot this car the moment it was finished-up at LTMotorwerks and I think I had already seen enough of it long before SEMA even came around. Like the other LB Works build, it is just really cool to see in person and I was happy to have had the opportunity to see this car up close. It garnered a lot of hype leading up to its debut because it was well-deserving. If you’re willing to cut up a Ferrari to put flares on it, shit, you better hope people want to go see it, haha…

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The lines of the LB kit actually suit the car quite well, despite the fact that it is already a design marvel by one of the premier sports car manufacturers ever. On another note, I understand why they used the Rotiform wheels but can you imagine how much more awesome this thing would have been if it had like a set of really aggressive Volk TE37s on it or something?…

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I thought it was kind of peculiar how they used the glass panels to really prevent you from getting a really close look at the underside of the car. Perhaps they didn’t want the average enthusiast to see the custom suspension, or lack their of, on the LB 458 Italia. I’m not going to go into very much detail about it but if you think this car is on air suspension or something similar….you…uh…just might be wrong…

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One of my favorites immediately upon arriving at SEMA was this Rocket Bunny Version 2 BRZ from LTMotorwerks. There were only a handful of Version 2 RB kits at SEMA but this one is certainly the most refined….

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I love their use of color accents and how it makes the car really pop without making it look gaudy. When you use a bright color accent like this, it can be hit or miss sometimes but against this blue hue, it definitely works…

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What also really helped with the final finish of the car was the custom brushed finish of the re-barreled BBS wheels done by Floss Designs. James has really made this brushed style his signature look and you can almost tell immediately that it is his handy work…

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One more shot since this build looked so good…

After walking around the South Hall for a bit, I decided to make my way over to the Central Hall to meet up with some friends. In-between the South and Central Halls is a breezeway that usually is occupied by Dodge. They would have cars on display there and the entire outside section would basically be there’s. I guess they passed on that section this year and the area was taken over by Toyo Tires this year. They had a whole row of custom vehicles on display and I stopped to cover some of them…

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Mark Arcenal’s Nissan Quest van with JDM El Grand front end conversion…

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I thought this widened Ford Focus ST looked really good on silver Work Meister S1Rs….

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Last year, one of the talks of the SEMA show was the Liberty Walk Lamborghini Murcielago. With the debut of the R35 GTR and the 458 Italia, the LB Works Lambo was parked outside the Toyo Tires section. Still looked great and is still an awesome car, but the hype has definitely faded….

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Sorry for the bad shadows in this shot, but making its debut was a build that most people hadn’t really even heard of; the custom Liberty Walk E91 BMW Wagon, built by Mickey Andrade with the help of LTMotorwerks. Mickey had told me about the build briefly, but I didn’t get a chance to see his rendering of the car until the final Formula D event. I was surprised to see him attempt something this wild because these wagons aren’t exactly cheap cars to toy around with either. That and after he acquired the Liberty Walk kit, he soon realized that it did not fit whatsoever with the body of the wagon. The wagon and coupe are significantly different so a ton of work had to be done just to fit the kit onto the car. He only had a couple of weeks to put the car together and I think the overall build came out great…

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Andrade added his signature highlighter yellow color accent to the car and even went as far as to have the inner barrel of his HRE wheels done in that tone. Mickey has a very good sense of style and you really see it on all of his cars….

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The rear of his custom Liberty Walk BMW Wagon, a project that he has since nicknamed “#RicFlare”….

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Not too far way from RicFlare was this bright yellow Varis widebody Subaru BRZ. I don’t know how many of you remember my WEKEAST coverage this year, but this is the same Varis build that was originally blue from that event. CLICK HERE to see it in its earlier form. The blue didn’t really match because they didn’t really bother to blend it at that time but it has since been resprayed in this vibrant yellow hue…

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The Varis widebody kit is one of the most aggressive widebody kits available for the FRS/BRZ chassis and probably the most expensive other than the new Aimgain kit….

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A rear shot of the GTSpec/Ravspec built BRZ that has made significant changes since I last saw it in New Jersey…

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Kenmeri Skyline GT on Fatlace’s new AME-produced “FZero” wheels…

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Once I made my way into the Central Hall, the first section I went to go see was the Honda section. There, I got to finally see the Bisimoto Engineering turbocharged Honda Odyssey project. Bisi always tells me that this Odyssey project was inspired by me but mine definitely pales in comparison to this one, haha…

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Replacing the factory front grille is a massive front-mount intercooler…

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A closer look into the engine bay reveals the Turbonetics turbocharged 1029HP J-series motor….

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I didn’t get a good shot of the interior but it is also caged and the seats have been redone….

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Bringing the car down to the floor is a custom air suspension set-up and polished Fifteen52 wheels…

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Brian Gillespie from Hasport chatting with a very dapper Bisi Ezerioha…

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Ryan from Rywire and Brian sharing some laughter as they prepared to film a video segment for Nachospeed TV…

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It seemed insignificant then but in the days that followed the 2013 SEMA Show, this happened to Brian G. when he attempted to best his record landspeed time in his Honda Insight…

When I first heard the news, I was in utter shock. Hearing of the accident then and not even seeing the video yet, we all assumed the worst. Luckily for Brian, his car had a very well-built roll cage and working HANS device that literally saved his life. He had a collapsed lung and some cuts and bruises but other than that, he came out of the accident very fortunate without and serious, life-threatening injuries. He’s recovering now and is out of the hospital and it is good to know that he is in good spirits and ready to get back out there again. Brian is a great guy and it would have been a shame to see anything bad happen to him. Crazy to think that just a couple days before this, I was at Tao nightclub drinking with this guy and having a good time at an industry party….Best wishes to him in his recovery…

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Chris Forsberg’s NOS Energy-sponsored 5.6L Nissan 370Z Formula D drift car…

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Funny thing about this BMW Z roadster at the KSport booth was that I overheard people doubting that this car had any type of KSport suspension on it, haha…. Maybe it did, I don’t know, but I saw people asking the KSport people if they could look under the hood and what not and they wouldn’t let them. It could just very well have been a car that was used to bring attention to the booth without actually having any product on it…

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Loved how clean this Pontiac Firebird looked on Forgeline wheels….

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The raw frame, motor, and chassis of a company that supplies aftermarket Cobra kit cars…Not the front suspension set-up and how the rear wing is fabricated into the frame…

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The Evasive Motorsports Scion FR-S time attack build ditched the green and went with this new red theme to match the new Volk Racing CE28RT wheels…

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For this year’s Toyota Dream Build Challenge, Parker Kligerman from Kyle Busch Motorsports created this Toyota “CamRally” project. It features a custom widebody package with traditional Toyota rally livery…

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…and under the hood is a Turbonetics turbocharged V6 motor. Pretty cool build and something totally unexpected…

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Forge Motorsports’ MK1 VW Golf race car with Group-B Rally style aero, turbocharged 2.0L engine, and 6-speed manual transmision…

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The Sportcar Motion K-swapped, turbocharged, drag-spec Civic has come a long way (HERE is how it looked in 2011…) but I’m happy to see it finally near completion. Loi and Morgan from SCM has had a ton of shit going on with time attack and what not so the car was put on the back burner for awhile but it made an appearance at SEMA 2013 in full race form. The car has yet to make a pass but once the finishing touches are buttoned-up, it should be ready for some competition in 2014. Interesting to see them dive back into the world of competitive drag racing after having made the transition over to time attack a few years back. They’ve had a lot of success there and with their roots in drag racing, they shouldn’t have any trouble pulling double duty in both race formats….

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One more shot of the SCM drag Civic as I close out Part 1 right here. There’s still much more to come so make sure to stay tuned for updates. Thanks for looking as always….

11 thoughts

  1. Ric Flare is frickin brilliant!

    I prefer (like I could ever have either) the Ben Sopra over the Liberty Walk kit due to the unique look. The Liberty Walk approach to different vehicles seems to be to put the same wide body on everything regardless of body lines.

    Great coverage as usual. I look forward to more since I’m sure you were able to see a lot more of the show than I was.

  2. Pingback: The 2013 SEMA Show Coverage…Part 2… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  3. As for the BMW Z4M i can promise u that it does have Ksport suspension and Ksport BBK front and rear. I know because i helped install it lol. Great coverage though

  4. Amazing Coverage as usual. I can’t wait to see more. I’ve been following the site for a year now, and I gotta say its by far the best Auto Journalistic view on the automotive industry out there. Keep up the good work and I’ll keep following.

  5. Pingback: The 2013 SEMA Show Coverage…Part 3… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  6. Pingback: The 2013 SEMA Show Coverage…Part 4… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

  7. Pingback: The 2013 SEMA Show Coverage…Part 5 of 5… | The Chronicles© - No Equal Since 2008 | www.stickydiljoe.com

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